REVIEW: Taylor Swift is THE drama queen
OK, Taylor Swift, we get it: We are never, ever getting back together.
The pop superstar might as well have blazed those words across the stormy Edmonton sky in flaming letters as she sang them for her grand finale at Rexall Place on Tuesday night. Some 13,000 mainly young female fans sang along to every word of one of the most popular and forthright break-up songs ever written. Like, ever!
As she preached to the choir, Swift was perched on a pulpit atop a Tina Turner catwalk crane that soared across the heads of the hysterical fans, having previously flown, been lifted and popped in and out of many convenient holes in the stage, at one point while sitting behind a red grand piano. Sparks flew, confetti fluttered, a squad of more than a dozen dancers dressed like Cirque du Soleil extras cavorted. One guy was in a bunny suit. Not sure what that has to do with never, ever getting back together, but Mr. Rabbit will be back again when Swift does it all again on Wednesday.
Just once I want to read a concert review for an arena show that doesn’t talk about all the bloody special effects. They’re all like Broadway musicals now. Just consider it read.
Anyway, this is somewhat unprecedented: The real feelings of a spurned young girl transmitted through such grand theatrics and to such a wide audience. Sure, lots of pop tarts had huge hits over the years, but most of it is forgettable fluff that means nothing in the long run. Girls actually do say things like “We are never ever getting back together,” and then get back together anyway, and so the difficult love train continues.
Taylor Swift is not just a drama queen, she is THE Drama Queen.
The impact on little girls can’t be underestimated. They will soon be big girls and are very busy gathering as much information as they can. Taylor Swift is a great source of wisdom and insight on this topic, like it or not. She is the big sister who knows it all, been there, done that, had her heart broken, took out the trash. Fans hang on the 23-year-old’s every word because every song speaks to something real. Swift has been with a lot of guys already, a lot of famous guys, and while maybe she’s as much to blame for the break-ups as the guys who are doomed to become the subject of a song that 13,000 little girls sing along to, she sure gets a lot of material out of it.
An old one, Picture to Burn, is one she’s not doing on the Red tour, and for good reason besides being “too country” – it is one of the most vengeful sentiments she’s ever come up with. A boyfriend cheats on her, so she threatens to go out with all of his best friends, burn his house down and get her daddy to beat him up. Ouch. The ruby slipper is on the other foot in You Belong With Me, about a plain girl in high school wants to steal the boyfriend of the popular girl. Swift and her back-up singers had some fun with this one at the show, camping it up Supremes-style. It’s still meaner than a song she has that happens to be called “Mean,” a song about trying to make a mean guy feel bad.
Dear John (another one she didn’t do at the show) is clearly about her ex-boyfriend John Mayer: “Dear John, I see it all now that you’re gone. Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with?” John, said to have been embarrassed (quite a hard thing to do), responded with a song of his own called Paper Doll: “You’re like 22 girls in one, and none of them know what they’re running from.” Let’s call it a draw.
Swift made hay of the fact she writes a lot of break-up songs, but “they’re not all break-up songs,” she told the crowd. “Sometimes they stay.” Cue Stay Stay Stay, which starts with the words, “I’m pretty sure we almost broke up last night. I threw my phone across the room at you.” We’ll check back with that one.
Hey, relationships take work. That’s one of the most difficult lessons Taylor Swift fans will have to learn – along with Taylor Swift herself, of course.